In Tool Reviews

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Tool: 18V Brushless Jig Saw R86344 Shop Now  

Manufacturer: Ridgid

MSRP: $179 (bare tool)

A thought occurred to me the other day — is the jigsaw the most versatile power tool? It can crosscut and rip. Make straight cuts or curved. It can even cut bevels and compound miters if used correctly. This mental exercise was playing out in my head while testing the new 18v brushless model from Ridgid, and while I never did come to a conclusive answer, I did find that I really liked this new saw.

Ridgid did their homework with the new R86344. It features variable cutting speed up to 3,450 SPM, with a 4-mode speed selector and variable speed trigger. There are 4 different orbital modes for choosing between clean cuts (less orbital action) and speed (more orbital action). The blade change mechanism and bevel adjuster are both tool-free. Ridgid also claims 20% reduced vibration vs their prior model, which was noticeable in testing.

The real runaway success is in the ergonomics. The design of the handle is just perfect, tapering slightly as it goes down, which allows a comfortable grip for a wide range of hand sizes. The speed adjustment button is right by your thumb, so you can make adjustments mid-cut without having to stretch awkwardly or use your off hand. Even the vacuum attachment is well thought out and stays out of the way when cutting. All of this adds up to a saw that’s a real joy to use, no matter which of the many tasks (crosscut, rip, strait cuts, curved cuts, etc) I use it for. 


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